this business

the only authentic currency
for love
is love.
counterfeiting is common
practice but only a
few get away with it so
ask yourself:
am i that special?
the price tag on each exchange is
all you’ve got.
just remember –
you don’t always get
what you pay for.
look this isn’t my business but
the godfather’s so
if you don’t like it take
it up with him.
if you do here’s a tip –
show some respect.
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Dear John


Do you see that warm little cabin tucked in the midst of those lovely snow-flocked evergreens? Imagine I’m in that cabin, sitting at my keyboard in a faded flannel and sorta baggy Levis, just waiting for you to ask me anything, anything at all. If you can imagine that, even if that takes a stretch, then that’s the first step in this little experiment of mine.

The second step is to actually send me a question. My promise to you is that I’ll respond to your question in a frank and hearty manner. Here’s what I’m thinking. Two or three of you send me a question, shucks, there might be nine or ten of you if I’m lucky. Then starting the week of Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas, every other day or so I’ll post your questions here with my response. Think of this as a Dear Abbey/Dear Sugar/Ask Amy kinda thing but the responses are coming from a lower middle class white male on the backside of forty, married for twenty-something years to the same lady, father to three pretty decent kids, former pastor turned poet (so think more spiritual lulu than guru) who believes at the end of the day its all going to be alright. I am not a licensed therapist but I am a licensed driver in Colorado and I own a beagle.

Okay, John, any parameters? Fair question. If you need financial advice, there are qualified people out there (Lord knows not me) who can help you. And if you’re interested in the answer to some theological conundrum that folks have been warring over for millennia, then I’m not your guy either. Its not that I won’t respond to your question, because as promised, I will, but if you’re looking for some clear-cut answer then I guarantee you I’ll frustrate you. Apart from that, ask away.

You can send your question to Address it to Dear John and I’ll repost it with some clever signature – whacked-out Winnie or cynical Cyrus or something like that. I reserve the right to edit your question a little, that’s just how it is. And just so you know, yes, I know what a traditional Dear John letter is, but here’s our opportunity to poke tradition in the eye.

So I’ll put another log on the fire in that little cabin and wait to hear from you. Thanks! 

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Love Poem No.20

I sit here eating chicken and wild rice soup
that my wife prepared last night from scratch.
She didn’t have to do that. But she did.
As I eat I eyeball the photographs magnetized to our
refrigerator door, pictures of three cherished children
that came about as a result of her agreeing to my
amorous advances on three ordained occasions.
She didn’t have to do that either. But she did.
In a few moments she’ll hop in the car and drive
to meet friends for lunch. When she starts the engine
she’ll be overshadowed by the easy listening station
at rock’n’roll volume. This will frustrate the dickens
out of her at first, as it has a thousand times before.
But then she’ll ease and pause and mutter thanks
for the antique she’s still stuck with.
I don’t have to leave the radio on like that. But I do.
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We must daily choose whom
we will serve – wonder or rage.
We can, and do, insist on
other words as options.
But those are, and will always be,
only variations of those two
nimble themes on which living hinges.
Its not that our insistence is futile,
for God is love and in him is no antsy.
But there are days when he wishes
we’d just choose from the originals
already and get on with it.
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This Is What We Do

His sole brother will be another year older this week.
So my father will drive headlong into the north Texas
wind to sit across from him and honor his face.
No doubt they will speak of pickups and children
until those topics grow quiet. Then their talk will seep
into the porous ground of memory both recent and past.
Two older men talking fondly of older things,
the essence of why they want to be together.
Before my father leaves that booming town he’ll
wind beyond its frantic highway to the still cemetery where
his parents sleep. He will go there as all mourners do,
repeating Easter’s mistake, seeking the living among the dead.
My father knows this but still he’ll go. To kneel and
to place fresh flowers, an assertion in favor
of the rising and against the fallenness of time.
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I wake again to this chancy,
jumbled affair wondering if
today will simply be more of
yesterday’s news or if something
terrifying might happen, like
being visited by an angel announcing
“You will conceive and bear a song
that will from this day forward
be sung soft over each who dies,
a necessary requiem to ease the
soul across the brief stint of doubt
that lies just before the benevolence.”
Either way, Lord, I rise ready. 
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With Love Ablazin’

My what a magnificent word!
I grew up believing in its regality and
by God continue to believe it still
for (contrary to popular opinion)
such is one who sets his face as flint
toward the yawing day and rides in
with love ablazin’ unable to keep from
squandering second chances upon both
the comely and the plain because
the mercies keep falling through
the holes in his fool hands and side
(and because he himself has been
so squandered upon).
Its a deathy way to live, that’s for sure,
but with every dying the valiant founder’s
magic grows and one day, yes one day,
the spell will reach its climaxation
and we will wake to as it was in the beginning
and death, yes death will bloom no more. 
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